Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrate HalloWellness with Orange + Black Indian Spices!

I received these products for free to facilitate this review.

This season is known for awful colds and flu bugs going around. We do not always eat healthy during the holidays, especially when Halloween is just around the corner and all that candy is looming over us beckoning us to eat it. Just the other day I went to Walmart and saw two whole aisles dedicated to the stuff. We should not be compromising our health during the holidays! We can't afford to get sick in the midst of everything going on.

There are other healthier ways to bring in the orange and black for Halloween. Organic India has some awesome products that I have added to my cupboard. There are 3 products they sent me to try out for free and review: Turmeric Formula capsules, Chyawanprash, and Tulsi Original herbal tea. These are all great for supporting and boosting the immune system and reducing stress. This is something we all need during the hectic holiday season.


Turmeric Formula capsules - Turmeric is very orange in color. The plant is in the ginger family. The turmeric powder spice comes from the dried rhizome (often called a root) of the turmeric plant. I have used turmeric powder in the past for many recipes in my home including Fire Cider. It is also one of the ingredients that makes up the spice curry, which I also love. With the capsules you have the option of breaking open the capsule and adding it to your food or taking just the capsule. I love cooking with turmeric and it has many health bonuses that are associated with ingesting it. It is great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, bronchitis, and colds. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity. It nourishes & cleanses the blood and lymph system, and promotes healthy inflammation and immune response. It also supports cellular health in the liver, skin, lungs, sinuses, joints, and digestive system. This product is: gluten free, vegan and vegetarian, GMO free, Kosher and Halal certified. 90 capsules per bottle. Suggested use: 1 capsule 2 times a day with food and water.

Chyawanprash - Chyawanprash is a dark colored herbal jam that looks black when spread thickly on bread, toast, or a cracker. This Chyawanprash is 100% organic. It has a thick consistency much like raw honey. It is sweet and sour at the same time. I can definitely taste some kind of berries and cinnamon in it. It is made from wild forest antioxidant rich fruits including Amalaki. This Chyawanprash is packed with 36 traditional Indian herbs + vitamin C. It aids in digestion, metabolism, memory and even skin complexion. It also is rejuvenation, energizing, boosts immunity & known as the "Elixir of Life" for its many nutritional properties. This product is GMO free, Halal certified and USDA certified organic. This comes in a 8.8 oz (250 g) jar. Suggested use: 1 teaspoon per day. Enjoy on bread or crackers, mixed into milk, juice, or tea; or just straight.

Tulsi Original Herbal Tea -Tulsi also known as Holy Basil is an herb prized in India for its healing power. Organic India's Tulsi Teas include three varieties of Tulsi leaves: Rama, Vana, and Krishna. Each variety has a slightly different look, taste and smell and when combined, create a perfectly balanced herbal infusion with an array of health benefits. This tea is caffeine, GMO, and gluten free. This tea is very good hot or cold. I like the original a lot. Tulsi is an adaptogen, which means it lessens stress and helps boost immunity. It energizes, soothes, relaxes, builds stamina, aids digestion, balances metabolism, balance energy levels, and uplifts mood. It is also abundant in antioxidants and is anti aging. This tea is USDA certified organic and Kosher and Halal certified. It is also individually wrapped 18 tea bags per box for freshness that can be easily taken with you to enjoy. Can also be purchased in other flavors and loose leaf variety.

Organic India has other teas, herbal supplements, herbs, herbal coffee, gifts, and other wellness products. You can check out the company for yourself: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received these products for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. The medical information provided on this blog is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). I am not a medical professional, just a mom with a opinion. Even if a statement made about the natural remedy is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms. I am only suggesting that you should try it for yourself and see if helps you. People are all different and outcomes could vary drastically.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kitchenware Plus Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board Set Review

I received the products below for free from Kitchenware Plus using Tomoson in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

When I received the Kitchenware Plus Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board Set in the mail they were both in a heavy duty box that fit them well. They were shrink wrapped together with information sheets attached to the back of the larger cutting board and the front of the medium cutting board. The front sheet had product information and the back sheet had care instructions.

The care of these boards is very simple. It says to wipe them clean with a damp cloth and to use hot soapy water. I would give them a quick pre-wash rinse with hot water after every use and make sure to rinse all the soap off after cleaning. I found that these cutting boards dry very quickly. Never immerse these in water. I have had other wooden cutting boards warp or split when left immersed in water and the porous surface could absorb the dirty dish water...yucky! Also, I would not put these in the dishwasher either. If you are worried about salmonella or other bacteria when cutting raw meat on these I would recommend making sure to sanitize these properly with diluted bleach as needed. You can also disinfect with 3% hydrogen peroxide and deodorize with white vinegar. I recommend removing stains with a sprinkling of coarse salt or baking soda on the area while the cutting board is dry and gently rubbing with a brush dipped in hot water. These are apparently heat resistant to 100 degrees Celsius/212 degrees Fahrenheit, but I would not be placing anything hot from the stove or oven on these...they are not trivets! It also says to oil them monthly with a food grade quality oil. This protects the bamboo from drying out and either splintering or cracking. I would recommend food grade: mineral oil or linseed oil (Not boiled linseed oil!!) because canola, corn, vegetable or other cooking oil might go rancid in time.

Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Board Thickness

I was very pleased with the size and thickness of these boards. This set of 2 cutting boards comes with an extra large 18" X 13" cutting board and a medium 13" x 8.5" cutting board. These are also extra thick, 3/4" so that they resist warping and cracking. When I first saw them I was taken aback slightly because I had forgotten the exact measurements and the larger one is rather impressive, especially up close. They don't lie when they say that this one could hold a large Thanksgiving turkey to carve! My kitchen right now is small, so I do my chopping with the larger board on my kitchen table. The larger board is a bit cumbersome and awkward to clean in my small kitchen sink, but it is still doable. I love that the larger board can handle everything from carving a turkey to cutting veggies. It has enough room where you don't have to have extra dishes to put things you cut up into to make room for more chopping. The medium one is great for the smaller projects, but still a really good size. Both are great for cutting bread, meat, cheese, vegetables and fruit on.

Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Boards don't dull my knives.

The Kitchenware Plus Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board Set are better than my other cutting boards I currently have. Other than these cutting boards I have a tempered glass one and some flimsy flexible plastic ones. These won't dull my knives as fast as my tempered glass cutting board. They also stay in place while cutting and the items I am cutting don't slide off either.

Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Boards - deep grooves on one side.
Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Boards - back side has no grooves.

I love the quality, look and feel of these boards. They are both made from top quality compressed bamboo. They each have a groove all the way around them on one side so that juices can drain away from what you are chopping. My husband doesn't like grooves on cutting boards so he can just flip these over and use the back for a cutting surface. These cutting boards are very attractive. They are perfect to leave out as a showpiece in your kitchen. I love that they have a lighter colored bamboo on two of the alternate ends and that the grains of the lighter colored bamboo are the opposite direction than the darker bamboo. The grain of the bamboo is very pretty also.  These seem very sturdy, strong and durable. They are lighter than hard wood cutting boards, but have a good weight to them. They seem like they will hold up to a lot of use and also come with a 100% lifetime guarantee! I love when companies back their products.

Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Board - glue discoloration left over from product information sheets.

My complaints about this product are few and with a bit of effort they can all be remedied. As is the case with all of my reviews I feel that honesty is the best practice. The first picture they have of the product on Amazon does not do it justice. It shows cutting boards that do not have a groove all the way around them. They don't show both sides of the products very well and I guess this could be the back they are showing with the sheets switched. I believe they should update their pictures to show both the back and front sides correctly as this is the first picture to be seen when searching for this product on Amazon. I have found that teeny tiny slivers come off of these boards. I would not want this to get in my food even though I do not think that these pose a huge risk if ingested. Maybe in the creation process these could be sanded with fine grit sandpaper so they come out smoother. I will be doing this with mine and I hope it doesn't ruin the color. In the instructions on the board I noticed that it said to oil the board with food grade quality oil monthly. Maybe this would solve the splintering issue, but the sheet didn't say how much oil to use or that I should do it right before use. This would be extremely helpful information to include in the instructions. Also, the instructions and product information sheets were attached by some kind of strong adhesive to the cutting boards. This proved annoying to get off. I had to rip the papers off into little bits and then run the cutting board under hot water to dissolve the rest while rubbing gently yet vigorously...little splinters coming off in my fingers too at this point. The adhesive also left a discolored mark on the cutting board where it was and the product information and instruction sheets were useless now. These are made in China (probably to keep costs down) I don't actually have an issue with this myself, but I know for some of you this will be a downside as well. If these issues are addressed then the product will be perfect in my opinion.

All in all I do love these cutting boards. I will be using them a lot, especially for the holidays! The size and thickness is great and I love that they are made from a sustainable, eco-friendly product. These would be great as gifts for the holidays!

Buy Them:

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

LivingPlug Energy Efficient INLET with Faceplate Review

This review is sponsored by LivingPlug. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

INLET is San Francisco-based LivingPlug's multi-use, energy efficient and child-proof outlet and USB source. The INLET comes with a screw to attach it to the outlet and has tamper-resistant outlets so it is safer. It turns a standard outlet into three receptacles plus a 2.1 USB charger and features the “UNplug button” which shuts off power and eliminates the need to physically UNplug devices from the outlet, thus reducing “Vampire Charges” caused when electronics suck power even when turned off. LivingPlug estimates consumers can reduce their electrical bill 15-25% by using the “UNplug” button. What a great way to take a bite out of utility bills!


Besides being very functional and practical their INLET is also decorative. Outlets are in every room and they don't have to be boring. You can make them fabulous looking with INLET faceplates and enhance the aesthetics of your home. Faceplates cover the outside of the INLET to match your home decor. LivingPlug has hundreds of designs that you can pick from ranging from nature scenes, graphic prints, noted artists, inspirational quotes, holiday and seasonal, as well as a line of children's inspired looks. You can choose from several Halloween-inspired designs like: a Happy Pumpkin, Silly Ghost, Haunted House, Black Cat, and variety of fall scenes to decorate before the first Trick-or-Treaters arrive. Additionally, the company offers a line of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday season designs. LivingPlug also offers an option to create a customized faceplate for you as well: upload a personal photo, school mascot, favorite quote, or child's artwork, etc. for them to make you a unique design. These faceplates are a duplex electric outlet cover, printed domestically on an ABS faceplate. The Faceplate is super easy to place onto the INLET, just slide the ABS formed brackets that are on the back of the frame onto the INLET front chrome pins. You can interchange these faceplates with one another so you can change the decor of your home with the seasons, holidays, or your mood.

From left to right: The front of the INLET and back of the faceplate, The back of the INLET and front of the Pin Oak faceplate.

I received an INLET with a Pin Oak faceplate. This design is by Seymour Leichman and Riverside Park illustrations and is of a lovely tree. I love this design because it fits with my love of nature and goes with the fall and autumn season well.

LivingPlug INLET with Pin Oak Faceplate. Coffee maker and reader plugged into it.

There are a few problems some outlets and plugs have using the INLET. The INLET only plugs into a three prong outlet. Unfortunately, if you have an older home with two prong outlets you will not be able to use the INLET. Also, if your three prong outlets are installed in an incorrect orientation (upside down or sideways) you will have issues using the INLET with the faceplate unless you choose a faceplate that can be oriented upside down or sideways also and still look the normal (there are actually quite a few to choose from like this). The faceplate can be put on the INLET "wrong" so that it plugs into an upside down outlet and be right side up, but then the faceplate covers the INLET outlets so you cannot plug anything in. There is a lip on the faceplate that even when put on correctly still won't let larger plugs plug into the INLET outlets. You could plug these bulkier plugs into the bottom without the faceplate on, but then the INLET is very plain and you still might not be able to use all three outlets at once because of the close proximity of the three plugs.

Problems some outlets and plugs have using the INLET.

I believe LivingPlug INLET is a revolutionary product when used with the proper outlets and plugs. It is ideal for people that want to upgrade their 3 prong outlets into something more: functional, practical, beautiful, and safe. The LivingPlug INLET, by itself or with the faceplate, would make a great gift for someone as well.

The LivingPlug INLET is super affordable. It retails for $25 and each faceplate is sold separately from the INLET and other LivingPlug base products for an additional $25. To learn more about the INLET and faceplate designs or to purchase, please visit LivingPlug.

BUY IT!


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales DVD Review

I received this DVD for free to facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Halloween is just around the corner. I know that my family will be enjoying the night trick-or-treating in costume. My girls both have picked one of the My Little Pony Mane Six to dress up as this year. My daughter Teela is going to be Pinkie Pie and my daughter Zari is going to be Princess Twilight Sparkle. My mom put both costumes together with various found items. They are going to be adorable! I cannot wait!

To continue with the pony theme for the night, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales DVD has 6 spooky episodes and a sing-along of Bats! for enjoying on Halloween Nightmare Night. This collection is definitely 20% spookier! The DVD also comes with a boo-tiful full color collector poster perfect for holiday decorating and fun pumpkin carving stencils!

DVD Description:
Join your favorite residents of Ponyville — Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and, of course, Spike — as they take on some of the spookiest adventures Equestria’s ever seen! Time to gather around and hold on tight, because these six exciting tales are a chillingly good romp.

Episodes Include:
  • Boast Busters: The Great and Powerful Trixie comes to Ponyville boasting she is best magical pony and eventually challenging the modest Twilight Sparkle to a magic duel. Will the arrogant Trixie ever be humbled?
  • Stare Master: While ponysitting the fillies, Fluttershy notices that they have snuck out and ventured into the creepy Everfree Forest. Can Fluttershy save them when danger comes?
  • Luna Eclipsed: Princess Luna comes to visit Ponyville for Nightmare Night and is having trouble fitting in. Will everypony accept her present form and forget about her evil past?
  • Sleepless In Ponyville: While camping with the other ponies and listening to ghost stories, Scootaloo must learn to face her fears.
  • Castle Mane-ia: Applejack and Rainbow Dash compete in a scary castle to see which pony is bravest. Who will become the champion?
  • Bats!: Sweet Apple Acres' apple trees are being attacked by vampire fruit bats. Applejack and Fluttershy can't agree on how to handle the situation. Twilight steps in to help, but her spell backfires on Fluttershy changing her into a vampire bat pony. Will they ever come to an understanding and help their friend in time?

If you haven't seen My Little Pony Friendship is Magic with your kids, I urge you to. My whole family enjoys the episodes...even my husband and my teenage boys! The show has wonderful morals and a great storyline. Since we are huge fans of My Little Pony (MLP) Friendship is Magic (FIM), my family had seen all of the episodes from Spooktacular Pony Tales before, but We enjoyed watching these episodes again. Also, this compilation is great because you have the spookiest episodes right at your fingertips for watching on Halloween Nightmare Night.

The bonuses were really cool. My kids loved the poster and hung it up in the boys room. It features Princess Luna reading from a book of scary tales to the costumed Cutie Mark Crusaders. I love the play on words that the writers use for the episode titles as well as the title and authors name on the book Luna is reading on the poster, Tales From the Hayloft by Edgar Allan Pony. The words at the top of the poster are in lyrical rhyme like how Zecora speaks. The pumpkin carving stencils feature Nightmare Moon on one side and Trixie on the other.

Here is the trailer:


Here are some fun activities and recipes for Halloween Nightmare Night:
Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch and Keeping Portland Lost Corn MAiZE in Sauvie Island Oregon

We received free media passes from US Family Guide to facilitate this review and post.

We sure had a lot of fun last year at The Pumpkin Patch and The Corn Maize on Sauvie Island Oregon. My whole family was excited to go again. We had planned to go on the 11th of October, but bad weather and a family mishap pushed it to the 18th. The staff at The Pumpkin Patch was wonderful in working with us to reschedule a better time and day.

I wanted to make sure that we didn't miss the Corn MAiZE and also see some things we hadn't seen in years past. The market was definitely on our radar so that we could partake of some of the awesome bounty that Sauvie Island had to offer. I was also hoping to go through the Corn MAiZE completely with the girls as we didn't get to last year.

Sauvie Island
Sauvie Island Oregon is a large island bound by the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. It comprises of approximately 30,000 acres of land and lakes. The scenic drives wind around through farm and dairy lands. The gorgeous Sauvie Island Bridge crosses the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River near Portland, Oregon, United States. This 1,198' (365 m) truss bridge was built from July 2004 - June 23, 2008. I got to see it in construction.

Corn MAiZE entrance.
The entrance to the Corn MAiZE is a covered area with picnic benches and places to take photos. There are also interesting things to read about the maze. There is a whole board filled with past MAiZEs, a large corn cutout, carved pumpkins, a sunflower cutout to poke your head in, a rule board, a large ruler cutout to measure how much you've grown since the last time you were there, and other things as well to keep you occupied while waiting for others to finish the maze.

Corn MAiZE Passports.
Grab a Corn MAiZE passport card before the you start through the maze. They have different categories to choose from, each having their own set of questions to solve. We think they are a lot of fun and very educational. When you get to a checkpoint (numbered sign) along the way, stop and look for the same numbered question on the passport. Answer it and it will tell you which path to take. If you answer correctly you will be on the right path. A wrong answer could get you very lost, so choose wisely.

The girls and I went through the first half of the Corn MAiZE without any trouble!
My daughters, Teela and Zari braved the mud and went through the first half of the maze without any trouble! I remember last year getting very lost and having to turn around and go back the way we came. I am so glad that we made it this year.

Corn MAiZE Fun
While in the corn maze there are 2 points where you go up stairs and over a bridge and then down again into the mud. Yes...I said mud! At first there was a little mud and then there was a lot of mud! I saw people come out of the maze covered in it. I was glad we didn't get too muddy. Next time I think we need to invest in some muck boots for the kids. Also you can see for miles when you are up on the bridges and you can sort of get your bearings. We saw The Pumpkin Patch from one which looked like a dotted orange part of the field from afar.

2nd half of the Corn MAiZE. We made it all the way to the end! Yay!
Feeling rather bold and proud of ourselves for finishing the first half we even decided to go further and try the second, apparently harder path through the maze. We made it all the way to the end and although the whole maze took us a while to go through because I took a bunch of pictures we were so glad we persevered and got to finish!

We love the silly brain teasers called CORNundrums that are throughout the Corn MAiZE.
Along the way through the maze we had fun solving corny brain teasers called CORNundrums. These are silly signs with pictures that represent funny play on words. We laughed so much! It was a great activity and good for the soul.

The Pumpkin Patch Animal Barn
 We love to go in the animal barn at The Pumpkin Patch to see the animals. It is a small barn with a few animals. There are bunnies, chickens, a cow, sheep, goat, llama, etc. There are animal facts posted by some of the animals. I learned that rabbits can purr just like cats do and chickens have more bones in their necks than giraffes. I love the mural on the back wall inside of the barn. It is old and flaking off in spots, but still nice.

Pumpkins from The Pumpkin Patch
This year we didn't visit the pumpkin patch like previous years, mainly because we wanted to go look inside the market. I got some pictures of the kids as we were on our way over to the market. Jaedan wouldn't smile for me in these pictures...oh well.

The Pumpkin Patch Market
We checked out The Pumpkin Patch Market next. There is a fabulous selection of flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs and other local homegrown or homemade treats. Someday I am going to have to buy a Bolga Basket here because I absolutely love them! Maybe I will buy two or three because my girls also found a cute one in their size. They also had some of the largest sauerkraut cabbages I have seen. I love their wall of locally made honey, dressings, sauces, spreads and syrups. They have a wonderful variety of items made of pumpkin. You can pick out a nice pumpkin here or at The Pumpkin Patch.

Our market finds, Jaedan using a cabbage leaf as a hat, and Delbin's pear.
We bought two regular size cabbages, a large mesh bag of hot peppers we are going to dry into pepper flakes, a Blue Hubbard squash to possibly make into a pie, some pears: including a gigantic one Delbin picked out, and some apples with our WIC farmers market coupons before they expired at the end of this October.

Floral gardens and leaving Sauvie Island with a Pumpkin Truck.
As we left The Pumpkin Patch and Corn MAiZE on Sauvie Island we passed some of their pretty flower gardens. Maybe next year we can explore more things we missed in the past years we have been. We were also following a large semi truck filled to the brim with pumpkins across the Sauvie Island Bridge as we drove back home. We had a very fun day at The Pumpkin Patch and Corn MAiZE on Sauvie Island and we hope to get to go back next year.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received free tickets for my family to go to The MAiZE at The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island Oregon to facilitate this review. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free tickets. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Just Pretend Kids Tutu and Fairy Wings Review and Giveaway

Just Pretend Kids Monarch Butterfly Tutu and Fairy Wings in Wrap

I received this costume for free to facilitate this review. I was also given an opportunity to do a giveaway for my readers for free as well.

Halloween is around the corner and the hunt for great costumes is on. Just Pretend Kids has an adorable collection of tutus, fairy wings, bodysuits, wands, headdresses, headbands, hairpieces, tights, legwarmers, and other accessories to complete the look that are a must have for any little girl. They also come in a range of different designs: from fruit to insects to flowers to mermaids to fairies, you have a great selection to pick from. They not only have those items, but they also have many other costumes like: furry animals, princesses, queens, mermaids, brides, witches, etc. Just Pretend Kids has infant romper costume sizes in 0-6 months to 6-12 months, toddler sizes in animal costumes for 1T-2T and 3T-4T, toddler sizes in fairy costumes for 2T-3T and 4T-5T; and kids sizes from size 2, 4, 6 and 8 in some costumes. They also have whole themed party boxes with a costume to match that come with everything you need to host a wonderful party - from invitations to tableware and decorations too.

My daughters love to dress up regardless of whether it is Halloween or not. They love to pretend that they are someone or something else. I think their imagination is wonderful. I love watching them play.

3 year old Zari wearing the tutu and wings.

We received the Monarch Butterfly Collection tutu and wings to try out and the packaging was well thought out. Inside the box the wings were separately wrapped inside their own bag so that they would not snag on anything. Then they were placed in a larger bag with the tutu. As soon as I opened the package and showed my daughters they wanted to try on the lovely costume.

The tutu and wings are perfect from the back.

The Monarch Butterfly Collection Tutu is a lovely bright orange tulle skirt with a black bow, orange butterfly, black pom pom, and orange polka dotted black ribbon embellishments. The skirt has an elastic waist so it fits both my daughters well. My daughters both had fun twirling in it.

6 year old Teela wearing the tutu and wings.

The Monarch Butterfly Collection Wings are the black and orange color of the Monarchs' and bejeweled with orange jewels and glitter. On closer inspection the black sparkly paint on the wings was a bit smudged on the left wing and some was where it wasn't supposed to be when you see them from the front. We had to adjust the bands that go around the girls' arms so that the wings would stay in place and fit better. My daughters were happy enough with these new wings though. With them their imagination took flight.

From the front you can see the black paint on the left wing.

You can get the whole Monarch Butterfly look with Just Pretend Kids. They have Monarch Butterfly Collection Boppy, Monarch Butterfly Collection Wand, Monarch Butterfly Wand, Monarch Butterfly Collection Tights, Monarch Butterfly Legwarmers, Monarch Butterfly Headpiece, Monarch Butterfly Collection Bodysuit, Monarch Butterfly Alex Bodysuit, Monarch Butterfly Ruffled Tutu, Monarch Butterfly Collection Tutu, and Monarch Butterfly Collection Wings.

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Prize: Win Just Pretend Kids Tutu and Fairy Wings (winners choice).

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to facilitate my review and an opportunity to giveaway some free too. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff Review and Giveaway

We received this product free from Shadow Mountain to facilitate this review, an opportunity to host a giveaway and participate in the blog tour. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

One of my favorite blogs to read is the Six Sisters' Stuff blog. This blog was created by 6 biological sisters: Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra that wanted to stay in touch and share recipes, crafts, projects and neat ideas with each other while apart. Growing up with just sisters and no brothers in my family I can relate with this blog a lot...even though I only have 2 younger sisters. These sisters also share another similarity with me...they are all of the LDS/Mormon faith. Their blog is also in the "Why Are YOUR Favorite Bloggers Mormon?" list of blogs that I frequently visit.

Six Sisters' Stuff is back for the holidays with their third book, 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff. This book is loaded with creative ideas for Christmas. There are 144 recipes, DIY crafts to Deck The Halls with, homemade and handcrafted gift ideas, party ideas, ways to serve, family traditions, tips, and more. This book is split up into 12 topics having 12 different fun ideas underneath each. It definitely is a great way to organize the book. It has 143 pages packed with full color easy recipes, crafts, projects and ideas similar to the ones on their blog. These were all compiled as a collection of their family favorites. You can make all kinds of things from it that are simple to create and easily affordable too. Both their blog and the book reminds me of the many creative things we made at Young Women activities and still make in Relief Society. A table of contents in the front and an index in the back keep it simple to find everything. I will definitely be keeping this book on hand as a go to book for helping me: create yummy meals and desserts quickly, decorate my home for the holidays, and create unique one of a kind gifts for friends and family.

The recipes in this book look so delicious! I can't wait to try out these desserts: Cherry Chocolate Muffins, Nutella Banana Bread, Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle, and Almond Joy Bars! Yummy! Again the Six Sisters' Stuff does not disappoint when it comes down to slow cooker meals. I love my Crock-pot and use it a lot! I will be trying out the Slow-Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup and the Slow-Cooker Ham and Pineapple Sandwiches soon.

I love that this book makes it easy to make so many neat things for the home and others. I love to throw together cookie plates for neighbors and friends and this cookbook makes it easy to do so because it has 12 to pick from! Not only that, but the 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff has wonderful ideas for gifts that are inexpensive and easy to make. I love the Burlap Handprint Tree Skirt, the Wood Photo Blocks, and the Christmas Monogram Hanging.

This book is wonderful to get us in the holiday spirit, deck the halls, and get together with family and friends in "The Most Wonderful Time of Year!". Celebrate the joy of the season with the Six Sisters' Stuff.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
12 Christmas Cookies
12 Days of Christmas for Your "True Love"
12 Family Traditions
12 Christmas Brunch Recipes
12 Sanity-Saving Christmas Tips
12 Christmas Party Ideas
12 Spectacular Christmas Treats
12 Ways to Give Back
12 Gifts for Neighbors
12 Quick and Easy Family Dinners
12 Homemade Christmas Gifts
12 DIY Christmas Decorations

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received products for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Immune Boosting Fire Cider Recipe for Colds and Flu

Fire Cider

Prepare this fall and winter season before things get too cold by making a batch of Fire Cider a.k.a. Master Tonic or Flu Shots. Fire Cider, an all natural cold and flu folk remedy, has been a tradition passed down through the ages of time. This fiery concoction is an immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, warming, decongestant, and helps with circulation & digestion. Its flavor is potent, hot, spicy, pungent, sour and sweet all mixed together.

There are many ways to make this recipe, but most agree upon the basic ingredients of ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, and chile peppers or cayenne powder. These ingredeients are infused with apple cider vinegar, which is strained and mixed with honey. Rosemary Gladstar, a well known herbalist, coined the term Fire Cider over 35 years ago and published her recipe in her book, Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs on page 74. My recipe is adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's version with some added extras of my own. I would encourage you to experiment and make your own according to your own tastes and available ingredients. I have included my recipe below with a few variations and other optional ingredients. The outcomes range from super spicy to something that gently warms. It is fun to play with the mixture of the ingredients and see what subtleties you can taste from the differences.

My Fire Cider Ingredients

Ingredients (* = an optional ingredient I used in mine)

  • ½ cup ginger root, pealed and grated or pealed and diced (great for stomach problems, digestion, blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis)
  • ½ cup horseradish root, pealed and grated or pealed and diced (great for a number of things including digestion, blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, tonsillitis, sinus infections and bronchitis. anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-septic, stimulant)
  • 1 medium onion, pealed and diced (great for a number of things including blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough. anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant)
  • 10 cloves of garlic, pealed and minced or pealed and diced (great for a number of things including coughs, colds, sore throats, blood circulation, viral infections, and bacterial infections. anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-viral)
  • 2 chile peppers like jalapeño, cayenne or habanero peppers, chopped or ¼ tsp ground cayenne or pinch of dried chillies (vitamin C-rich, anti-inflammatory, vasodilator for healthy blood flow)
  • *1 lemon, juiced and zested and/or quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (vitamin C-rich, aids digestion, and anti-oxidant)
  • *rosemary, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (great for a number of things including digestion, cough, stimulating immune system, increases blood flow. anti-inflammatory)
  • *1 tbsp turmeric or ¼ cup fresh grated or pealed and diced turmeric (great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, and bronchitis, colds. anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity)
  • *cinnamon, to taste or a couple of cinnamon sticks (great for a number of things including coughs, colds, sore throats, viral infections and bacterial infections. anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial)
  • raw unfiltered unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity) (great for a number of things including digestion, sore throats, colds, flu, infections. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, energy booster, pro-biotic)
  • raw local honey, to taste (to be added after a month when herb infused vinegar is ready to be strained to complete the Fire Cider) (great for a number of things including sore throats, colds, coughs, infections. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, pro-biotic)

More Optional Additions
  • cardamom, to taste (helps relieve digestive problems induced by garlic and onion)
  • garam masala, to taste (usually a blend of turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, mace spice, cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom)
  • curry, to taste (usually a blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili powder or cayenne) (great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, and bronchitis, colds. anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity)
  • cloves, powder to taste or tsp buds (great for a number of things including digestion, blood circulation, coughs, stress. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune booster and stimulant)
  • nutmeg or mace spice powder to taste (great for a number of things including digestion, sleep, blood flow. anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, immune booster)
  • thyme, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (great for a number of things including sore throats, coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, chest congestion, and bacterial infections. anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial)
  • basil, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory)
  • oregano, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, nutrient dense)
  • prunella a.k.a. all heal or self heal, 1 tbsp freshly chopped or dried leaves (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic)
  • hibiscus flowers, 1 tsp dried (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • rose hips, small handful (great for chest ailments, coughs, colds. vitamin C-rich)
  • elderberries (Sambucus nigra), small handful (great for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • hawthorn berries, small handful (great for digestion, cardiovascular, circulatory, and respiratory, blood flow. vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • pomegranate seeds/arils, juiced (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • sun-dried tomatoes, small handful diced (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • other smallish citrus fruits, juiced and zested and/or quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • ½-1 tsp black peppercorns (digestive stimulant and expectorant)
  • other immune system boosting ingredients you want to add

Equipment
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife/peeler/grater
  • canning funnel
  • 1 quart size jar
  • parchment or wax paper
  • cheesecloth or a large ricer (something to strain it after a month or so)

The ingredients before and after Apple Cider Vinegar.

Directions
After preparing; layer and pack all roots, herbs, spices, vegetables and fruit into a clean 1-quart jar. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the contents, making sure they are covered with it. Tap the side gently to make sure the air bubbles rise to the surface and pop. Place a square of parchment or wax paper under the lid so that it doesn't acidify the metal and cause corrosion or use a plastic lid that fits. Tighten lid onto the jar. Shake well. Compost all peals and scraps.

Compost the lovely scraps.
Let the jar sit and steep for a month or longer in a cool dark place, shaking daily. After the month is up strain and decant the vinegar into a clean jar. Add honey to taste. Refrigerate and use within a year.

Serving Suggestions
Take 1-2 tbsp at the first sign of cold and repeat the dose every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside. If you love spicy hot flavors you could even have a whole shot glass full to ward off the nasties.You can also take it throughout the cold and flu season to prevent symptoms from occurring at all.

Make something out of the ingredients you strained out (if you used cinnamon sticks you can grate them as well. waste not want not!):
  • spicy egg/spring rolls
  • a spicy veggie pancake
  • a spicy pizza
  • sautée with meats, tempeh, or tofu for a stir fry, soup, or ingredients for a sandwich or wrap
  • mince and add to a chip dip, marinade or condiment
  • make up your own

Use the Fire Cider herb infused vinegar to:
  • baste or marinate meats, tempeh, or tofu
  • drizzle over salads as a dressing
  • drizzle over steamed veggies or sautéed greens
  • mix it with a condiment like honey mustard to give it an extra kick
  • add in soups or chilis
  • mix with lemonade or orange juice
  • mix with hot water and extra honey to make a warming tea
  • anything you think would be yummy

If you have made your own Fire Cider/Master Tonic/Flu Shot recipe please share it in the comments below!

Other References
February 2nd, is World Fire Cider Day!
Free Fire Cider
Tradition Not Trademark
Petition to sign
Rosemary Gladstar's company, Sage Mountain has Winter Recipes for Health & Well Being
Herbal Roots Zine: Kids Can Make Fire Cider Too!: has a free printable label, card, and 14 page fire cider e-book
Kiva's Gila Harvest Cider: a variation for sensitive stomachs

Rosemary Gladstar making her version of Fire Cider...


You can find Rosemary Gladstar's version along with so many of her other awesome herbal recipes in her book Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs...



DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: The medical information provided on this blog is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). I am not a medical professional, just a mom with a opinion. Even if a statement made about the natural remedy is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms. I am only suggesting that you should try it for yourself and see if helps you. People are all different and outcomes could vary drastically. I am not selling my Fire Cider, I am simply making my recipe available for free to all those who read this post and want to make it themselves.